A Love Letter to The "Drunk As Shit" Guy
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A Love Letter to The “Drunk As Shit” Guy

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love letter to drunk as shit guy(This piece was originally published in April, 2014)

Be my next boyfriend, “Drunk as Shit!” guy (aka, the guy who got nabbed for a DUI wearing that shirt). You’re just my type.

No, Seriously, Let’s DAte

A guy who gets arrested, now that’s a real man! Behind that winning smile, I see you’re just a frightened boy. Let me take care of you. To me, those blue eyes say, “Forgive me!” I forgive you, Drunk as Shit guy. Although other girls may reject you, I’m not turned away by your assortment of crimes: drunk driving, reckless endangerment, harassment and strangulation (for throttling his girlfriend). I don’t even care that you have a girlfriend. In fact, that only makes me want you more.

I’m successful. Attractive. I have multiple degrees! Why do girls like me date guys like you? Well, let’s first take into account that I just listed for you all my positive attributes. As my therapist once said, I’m full of self-loathing and denial (“No, I’m not!” was my immediate and unintentionally hilarious reply). For a girl like me, too much is never enough. Why, I love a good challenge! Sure, I have my own life to manage but why should I have to when I can manage yours?  And well, compared to you, I look like I’ve really got my shit together.

Let’s have kids!

Speaking of kids, let’s talk on a first date, within two minutes of meeting each other, about the home I grew up in. Then you’ll understand: your emotional unavailability is super familiar. No one loved me as a kid. And this is a crutch I’m going to lean on forever. When you’ve got a great excuse to limp, why learn to run?

I Know the Drill

It’s been my experience that a relationship with an untreated alcoholic just limps along. Erratic mood swings, unpredictable behavior, arguments, aggression and recklessness (including DUIs)—this is just some of what we can expect. Dating an active alcoholic means avoiding confrontation, talking to your partner as if he or she is a child, learning to be happy in spite of your partner’s drinking, seeking constant support elsewhere. You’re going to need it! Like when he comes home drunk and yells at you, breaks your shit and is physically abusive. Or when he doesn’t come home at all. And you’re constantly worrying and wondering what he’s up to. And you feel like everyone’s judging you, because you’re constantly judging yourself.

Maybe someday I’ll learn what it means to be in a committed monogamous relationship: That—to paraphrase relationship expert Natalie Lue—being in a relationship means having to love, having to communicate and be emotionally available, having to care, having to empathize and having to recognize someone’s needs other than your own. It means having to be trusted and being respectful. Recognizing your partner has boundaries. Considering someone’s feelings other than your own. A relationship means knowing that someone has expectations of you and accepting the fact that you’ll sometimes be needed. It means letting yourself be relied upon. It means making an effort and having to think.

Avoiding Intimacy Together

In the meantime, don’t worry about my birthday. Or Valentine’s Day. You’ve got a lot on your mind.

Dating an alcoholic means dating someone who’s emotionally unavailable. The reason girls like me do this: if you’re emotionally unavailable, I can remain unavailable, too. Together, we avoid the pain of something real. Sex with strangers I meet on the Internet? Sure! But a true partnership? Now, there’s a risk a girl like me is reluctant to take (not again!). I like to play the victim, but not really. I date losers so that when it doesn’t work out, I can blame you.

Drunk guy arrested with a zebra and a parrot. The Bohemian Rhapsody guy. This dude arrested for an incident involving tacos and a sword (it doesn’t say you were drinking but eh, I’m just going to take a stab in the dark). Call me! I find you boys compelling.

I don’t look at these guys as losers. Underneath their “issues,” they’re probably really decent guys. I get that. I get you. I’ve Googled your issues. I’ve spent many, many a night Googling your issues. I can see you, the real you. Seeing the real you is an ability I pride myself in having. Girls like me have a beautiful ability to love others, the most broken among you especially. Now, if only we were half as good at loving ourselves.

Good thing there are meetings for girls like us. Hey “Drunk as Shit” guy’s girlfriend, I’ll save you a seat.

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About Author

Melissa Petro is a freelance writer and writing instructor living in New York City. She has written for NY Magazine, The Guardian, Salon, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Jezebel, xoJane, The Fix and elsewhere. She is the founder of Becoming Writers, a community organization that provides free and low cost memoir-writing workshops to new writers of all backgrounds and experiences.